Our Emmys must-wins: Amy Poehler x 2, Sarah Paulson, ‘The Americans’ …

Gold Derby’s editors may not ever admit this in public, but the Emmys are our favorite awards show each year. In fact, we’re all desperately rooting for particular contenders to prevail on Emmy night. Scroll down to see each of our personal must-win picks. Ssh … don’t tell the competition. Click here for the complete list of Emmy nominations.

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Daniel Montgomery’s must-win:

Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation“) for Best Comedy Actress
Much has been made of poor unrewarded Jon Hamm‘s pursuit of Best Drama Actor for “Mad Men,” but let’s not forget about Poehler. She has been nominated 17 times now, and she’s still waiting for her first win. This is the last chance for voters to honor her for “Parks and Rec,” so it would be especially disappointing if Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins a fourth Emmy in a row for “Veep” (her sixth overall), while Poehler leaves empty handed.

Chris Beachum’s must-win:

Amy Poehler (Golden Globes) for Best Special Class Program and Writing
She is one of the most adored stars on television, so why hasn’t she won an Emmy yet? With four more nominations this year, that makes her career total 17 with NO wins. That is approaching Angela Lansbury futility territory. All of the other ladies with double digit career bids nominated this year have won before, including: Tina Fey, Lily Tomlin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Christine Baranski, Edie Falco, Kathy Bates, Cicely Tyson, Allison Janney and Lisa Kudrow. I don’t care if Poehler wins for “Parks and Recreation” or for her work on the Golden Globes, just give her a trophy already!

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Marcus James Dixon’s must-win:

Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Freak Show“) for Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress
Paulson was robbed for “Asylum.” You know it. I know it. And it’s time to rectify this mistake. Yes, she’s a bit young to win the Movie/Mini Supporting Actress category, a race that usually goes to well-respected veteran actresses like Kathy Bates or Ellen Burstyn. But shouldn’t talent ultimately trump age? And while you’re at it, Emmy voters, just go ahead and give her TWO Emmys for her two heads.

Rob Licuria’s must-win:

Joshua Brand (“The Americans“) for Best Drama Writing
My pick has to be Brand winning Best Drama Writing for “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” which was my favorite episode of my #1 show of the last season. It was riveting, tense, heartfelt and gave us even more insight into these characters that I have grown to love. As usual, the writers branch of the TV academy got it right. Time and time again they have nominated the best of the best in each season.

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Matt Noble’s must-win:

Veep” for Best Comedy Series
I’m always more invested in the series races because they are the big ones and it’s a way of celebrating everyone involved in the production. No show on television has been as consistently funny over the past four years and no show has a more collaborative ensemble. With this being the last season creator Armando Iannucci is writing for the show, this really should be their year.

Riley Chow’s must-win:

Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth“) for Best Comedy Writing
Not only is the “Alive in Tucson” pilot script the most original piece of comedy writing from the past season and with heart to boot, but “The Last Man on Earth” and showrunner Forte also deserve a win for the corners into which they later wrote themselves. This was a show so paranoid about complacency that the makeup of a standard episode remains unclear — see their unprecedented addition of a series regular in the third-last episode of the season. Further admirable was the escalating commitment to making the eponymous character unsympathetic. Pushing the lead of a broadcast sitcom into antihero territory made for an unlikely and unnecessary obstacle to the writers and they deserve full credit for their deft navigation.

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Charles Bright’s must-win:

Silicon Valley” for Best Comedy Series
This past season of HBO’s tech industry satire was firing on all cylinders. The writing is sharp, the directing is flawless and the performances are executed with amazing comic precision. If there is any sense of justice as to which show truly deserves the title of Best Comedy Series this year, “Silicon Valley” would win this one in a landslide. A win here could also help me forgive the academy for not nominating Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller and Zach Woods for their roles.

Zach Laws’ must-win:

Michael Kelly (“House of Cards“) for Best Drama Supporting Actor
Way back in March, I wrote an Emmy MVP article begging the Emmys to recognize the outstanding work of Kelly as White House fixer Doug Stamper. At the time, a nomination looked like a longshot, despite the fact that during the third season Kelly had become as integral to the show’s success as leads Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. And for good reason: throughout the course of 13 episodes, his character underwent a stunning transformation, with the actor going into previously uncharted emotional and thematic territory. A win may be a long way off, but I’ll certainly jump for joy if I see Kelly clutching a golden statuette on awards night.

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Will “Modern Family” win a record sixth time as Best Comedy Series? Make your predictions for that category below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Average Gold Derby users just like YOU turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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